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Pigeon Grass Setaria pumila

Previously known as:

  • Chaetochla glauca
  • Chaetochla lutescens
  • Panicum glaucum
  • Setaria glauca
  • Setaria lutescens
Phonetic Spelling
set-TARE-ee-uh POO-mil-uh
Description

Yellow Foxtail is a summer annual grass that is quite weedy. Its natural habits include gravelly areas along rivers, vacant lots, lawns, grassy areas along roads and railroad tracks, fields, pastures.  It is seldom found in natural areas, it prefers full sun with moist to slightly dry conditions in disturbed landscapes as noted above.

The yellow bristles of its immature spikelets, the number of bristles at the base of each spikelet and its straight raceme blooms make this variety of foxtail stand out from other varieties.  Other varieties have green or purple bristles, fewer bristles at the base and nodding panicle blooms.

The 8" long flat-leaf sheaths can range in color from green to greyish-blue.  The 5" raceme of florets sits atop these sheaths.  The immature spikelets are a shiny green and the bristles yellow.  When blooming, the bristles become a tawny color.  At full maturity, the entire spike becomes light tan.

The root system if fibrous on this self-seeding specimen. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant can become is very aggressive especially in disturbed areas.

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weed#weedy#summer annual weed#high maintenance#aggresive#warm season weed#weedy grass
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#weed#weedy#summer annual weed#high maintenance#aggresive#warm season weed#weedy grass
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Setaria
    Species:
    pumila
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eurasia
    Distribution:
    Throughout the US in open areas and disturbed turf.
    Wildlife Value:
    The leaves are of medium palatability for browsing mammals, attracting herbivores such as rabbits and voles. Grazing livestock will eat the immature leaves, however the bristles on the mature seed head may cause injury to mouthparts in horses and cattle. The seeds are a foodsource for many bird species.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Flowers:
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Spike
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Seedheads are spikelike, with several bristles on each seed.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Smooth
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The ligule is hairy, with long sparse hairs on the lower 2/3 of the leaf.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems branch from the base, are upright and hairless or nearly hairless and are sometimes seen with a reddish tint at the base.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Meadow
    Slope/Bank
    Problems:
    Weedy